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Archive for the 'Staff, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion' Category

UCL 2034 Progress Report

Benjamin G MMeunier4 December 2019

UCL has published the Progress Report 2019, highlighting some of UCL’s key achievements and steps towards realising the vision set out in UCL 2034. Highlights in this year’s report start with a Library Services initiative, the UCL Open megajournal as an example of academic leadership. You can see the review on the 2034 website at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/2034/progress-report-2019

Here’s a summary:

Principal Themes 

  1. Academic Leadership
    UCL Open’s Megajournal – The Constitution Unit’s role in a think-tank for Northern Ireland – Forming closer ties with the European Space Agency
  2. Integration of Research and Education
    Posters in Parliament – UCL’s 1000th Arena Fellow – the Bloomsbury Theatre and Performance Lab
  3. Addressing Global Challenges
    Antiretroviral treatment preventing the transmission of HIV – Developing a legal tool to protect refugees’ rights – Helping an indigenous community restore parts of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest
  4. Accessible and Publicly Engaged
    Public art at UCL – Growing community-university partnerships in East London – Building robots inspired by nature
  5. London’s Global University
    Working with Camden to drive innovation and social change – planning approval granted for new UK Dementia Institute – “Cosmic Coffee”
  6. Delivering Global Impact
    The RELIEF centre working to better integrate the forcibly displaced – Tackling chronic pain in children – Biogas project awarded Horizon 2020 funding

    Key Enablers

    1. Best Student Support – the Accommodation team’s Welcome programme
    2. Valuing our Staff – Welcome to UCL programme for onboarding new staff
    3. Financing our ambitions – an update from the It’s All Academic campaign
    4. Excellent systems – new UCL Staff Intranet
    5. Sustainable estate – Transforming the IOE
    6. Communicating and engaging – the #MadeatUCL campaign

Staff Office Audit & Improvements

JayWoodhouse4 December 2019

The Facilities and Project Team are undertaking an audit of the furniture and condition of all staff offices, as highlighted by the Liblist e-mail sent out on Thursday 28th November.

The aim of the audit is to create a baseline of staff office condition to aid with improvements. There is a rolling programme to bring all staff offices up to an acceptable standard for  condition of the room and quality of the furniture, to match those provided within Professional Services.

To this end ten offices in the Main Library have been redecorated and new carpets laid. Starting over the Christmas period six offices in the Science Library will receive similar treatment. The programme will then move on to another Library, to be decided.

“I Heart Consent” campaign launches today

Benjamin G MMeunier27 November 2019

Student Support and Wellbeing and Students’ Union UCL are together launching the ‘I ❤ Consent’ campaign today (27 November).

The campaign encourages students to take a brief sexual consent online training course on Moodle – no longer than 15 minutes to complete. The aim of the training is to help promote healthy and respectful relationships within the UCL community and beyond.

The campaign will be promoted to students via digital screens and messages in myUCL and local communications?

Once students have completed the training, they will receive a ‘I ❤ Consent’ badge on Moodle.

If students come along to the Student Centre Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 November (this week) and show us their badge, they will be able to collect a reusable ‘I ❤ Consent’ cup and a free hot drinks voucher!

The training does cover some difficult topics, so if a student needs support around this, please direct them to the Report + Support website, which has much more information.

Tackling Bullying & Harassment at UCL: “Where Do You Draw the Line?”

Benjamin G MMeunier23 October 2019

On the 3rd October, I participated in a “Where Do You Draw the Line?” workshop facilitated by the UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team. Where do you draw the line? is a harassment prevention approach collaboratively developed by UCL, University of Cambridge, University of Manchester and University of Oxford.

The workshop was jointly led by Kevin Coutinho from the EDI team and Martin Moyle, June Hedges and myself on behalf of Paul Ayris. It was very well-attended, and room 417 was completely full with managers from across Library Services, including many SMT members.

Colleagues who attended reported that it was helpful. One participant wrote:

“Firstly, I’d like to thank SMT for funding this session for Library Services Managers. I found it to be really helpful and I appreciated being able to participate alongside members of SMT and other managers in Library Services.”

This event was organised by Jennifer Brown, our Departmental Administrator, as part of our broader action plan for responding to findings from the Staff Survey.

Further work is needed to help eradicate bullying & harassment entirely from Library Services. There is no place for this type of behaviour at UCL, and the aim is for all staff to feel empowered and confident in challenging and reporting any instance where they encounter bullying or harassment. Given the success of this training event, and based on recommendations from colleagues attending, we will look to organise further events to ensure all staff receive this important training. The Library SMT will also consider a range of suggested next steps at the end of this month to follow up on this important matter.

For more information on how to respond if you witness bullying or harassment, please visit LibNet.

If you wish to report something or find additional support information for students and staff, please visit the Report+Support pages.

By challenging inappropriate behaviours we can all play a role in ensuring that UCL is a harassment free zone.


HEA Fellowship: ‘Get on and write’

Angela CYoung21 October 2019

What is ‘Get on and write’?

This series of sessions is for any UCL library staff working towards their HEA Fellowship, or anyone interested in doing so. Each session will give you some protected time where you can focus on getting some work done towards your application whilst also getting some support from peers. It’s an opportunity to bounce ideas off colleagues, discuss what you might include in your application and find out more about HEA  Fellowship. Angela Young, Head of Library Skills, will be there to provide support from the perspective of someone who has been through the process already. There will be samples of successful applications from Library Services colleagues for you to look at. Every session is open to any library staff interested in applying for fellowship or who are at any stage in the application process. Sessions are in Room 417 in the Science Library on the following dates:

  • Thu 7 Nov 2019, 10.30-12.30
  • Mon 2 Dec 2019, 10.00-12.00
  • Tues 14 Jan 2020, 10.00-12.00
  • Wed 12 Feb 2020, 11.00-13.00
  • Tues 17 March 2020, 14.00-16.00

Come to as many dates as you like, and if you cannot make a whole session then it’s fine to turn up for part of it.

What is HEA fellowship?

If you don’t know much about HEA fellowship, it’s a nationally recognised award which gives you formal recognition for your commitment to professionalism in supporting learning and teaching in higher education? The UCL Arena Open programme, which is free to UCL staff, provides a route to Higher Education Academy (HEA) fellowship and is open to all staff at UCL who teach or support students’ learning, regardless of role or job title, so it’s relevant to all sorts of roles within Library Services. In addition to gaining you post-nominals, the process of applying means you reflect on your teaching and learning support work and develop your skills, identify areas for your future development and enhance your support of students so contributing to the user experience.

If you would like to attend any of the dates, please contact Angela Young to secure your place.

UCL commits to same pay and benefits for its cleaning, catering and security staff

Benjamin G MMeunier21 October 2019

Many colleagues will be aware of the recent consultation on how UCL could improve terms and conditions for outsourced staff. Indeed, a number of Library colleagues have been vocal in support of our security, cleaning and catering colleagues and advocated for changes to the current arrangements.

Today, it was announced that UCL has committed to ensuring that security, cleaning and catering staff will receive the same or equivalent pay and benefits as directly employed staff, following constructive negotiations with UNISON.

A statement is available on the UCL News pages.

There is also a staff page which gives more context to the issue and includes a feedback page. Collette Lux and her team will review feedback submitted here regularly and bring it to UCL SMT as necessary.

CILIP BAME Network Inaugural Meeting

ChrisLi-In-On11 October 2019

I attended the CILIP BAME Network inaugural meeting on 12 September 2019. The event took place on UCL’s Bloomsbury campus and it was nice to see some UCL colleagues as well as bumping into a few familiar faces from other institutions.

The event began in earnest with an opening address from CILIP CEO Nick Poole followed by one from Shirley Yearwood-Jackman, chair of the newly formed CILIP BAME Network. She spoke passionately of her aspirations for this event and for the Network going forward. The meeting was then made up of a number of sessions.

Regina Everitt, Director of UEL Libraries and Learning Services, spoke about the findings of a SCONUL research report regarding the experiences of BAME staff in academic libraries.

Paul Byfield, Legal Knowledge Manager at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, advocated for social capital, professional networking and initiatives to promote work sectors where BAME staff are under-represented.

Emily Drabble, Head of Awards and Promotion at BookTrust Represents, discussed how this project is promoting BAME children’s authors and illustrators.

Marilyn Clarke, Head of Discovery Services at Goldsmiths College, talked about liberating the library and diversifying library collections. The idea is to challenge non-inclusive structures in knowledge management and their impact on library collections, users and services.

Ruth D’Rozario, at publishing group Hachette UK, explained how she set up a network for BAME staff in order to bring people together and build cultural awareness.

Refreshments were available throughout the meeting and the breaks in-between talks provided opportunities to network with other delegates at the event. Overall, this was an excellent forum to exchange knowledge and experiences with colleagues from different regions and sectors, hear from leading BAME influencers and learn more about the work of the BAME Network.

More details about the CILIP BAME Network and future events can be found at: https://www.cilip.org.uk/page/BAMENetwork

Early Career Professionals in academic libraries – SCONUL survey

Benjamin G MMeunier8 October 2019

Message from Ann Rossiter, Executive Director, SCONUL

SCONUL is undertaking research into the “pipeline for new talent”.  We want to collect evidence about the experience of Early Career Professionals working in SCONUL member libraries (at any level), in order to help us recruit the best people and support them in fulfilling their potential.  We are also interested in the perspectives of line managers and Heads of Service regarding the experience and potential of new library professionals.

Our research will give us a better understanding of:

  • the numbers involved and the types of role occupied by new professionals in SCONUL libraries;
  • the transition from Library and Information School (or equivalent) to professional practice;
  • what SCONUL libraries gain from employing new professionals; and
  • how managers can best support the professional development of their new recruits.

The project is part of SCONUL’s strategic priority to develop tools and materials to support members in workforce planning, and Evidence Base are undertaking this research on SCONUL’s behalf.

We would like to invite any new professionals, line managers and Heads of Service to contribute to this research by completing our survey, the link to which is below: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SCONUL2019

We would be extremely grateful if you could you answer the survey and distribute the link to this survey to your professional networks so that it reaches as many people who fits the criteria for our research and might be interested in providing a response.

For the purposes of this research, “new professionals” means people:

  • with a CILIP-accredited (or equivalent) library qualification awarded in 2014 or later; and
  • either working in, or having within the past 5 years worked in, the library (in the widest sense) of a SCONUL member.

A list of CILIP-accredited programmes is available at: https://www.cilip.org.uk/general/custom.asp?page=Qualifications; a list of SCONUL member libraries is available at: https://www.sconul.ac.uk/members-and-representatives.

Please note that our definition includes leavers (ie anyone qualified as above but who has left a SCONUL library post within the past 5 years).

The survey is open until 25th October 2019 and there is an opportunity to provide contact details if you are interested in assisting further with the research project by taking part in a follow-up interview.

Every care will be taken to maintain confidentiality and anonymity; all information received will be stored securely.

Thank you for your help in supporting this project.

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SCONUL2019

SMT Surgery dates

RozzEvans8 August 2019

Further to my previous blog post from July (and June Hedges’ lightning talk at the Library Staff Conference) we are delighted to announce that the first SMT Surgery will be taking place on Friday 16th August.  SMT members Rozz Evans (Head of Collection Strategy), Karen Jeger (Head of Collection Services) and Peter Dennison (Head of Customer Service) will be available between 10.00 and 12.00 in Room 770 at the Institute of Education.

Colleagues are able to book a slot by emailing lib-smt@ucl.ac.uk or are welcome to drop-in on the day (although you may have to wait a short while if SMT members are already speaking with colleagues).  You can come on you own or as part of a small group, and can specify that you would like to see a particular member of SMT  (from those available) if you prefer.

Apologies that this is rather short notice, but don’t worry if you can’t attend this one.  The pilot will be running until December and the following future dates have now been agreed:

11th September (2.00 – 4.00 pm)

4th  November (11.00 – 1.00 pm)

10th  December (5.00 – 7.00 pm)

These sessions will be advertised a minimum of two weeks in advance of the date via the LibNet blog and will include the location and names of SMT who will be present.

As this is a pilot, we are planning to refine the process as we go along so we will be seeking feedback from colleagues.

We look forward to seeing some of you soon!

WHEN conference

GillianMackenzie8 July 2019

I am a member of the Astrea committee, the UCL network for women in professional services and recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN) conference at 1-19 Torrington Place.

WHEN is multi-institutional, and is for women working in academia and professional services. The title and theme of 2019 conference was ‘Who am I supposed to be?’, and many of the discussions and workshops looked at labels that we give ourselves or are given to us by others, and the impact these can have.

Members of Astrea at the WHEN conference


The joint keynote speech was delivered by Professor Kalwant Bhopal from the University of Birmingham, followed by Yasmine Bouidaf, who works at UCL and is also the founder and CEO of the company Serious Datum. Professor Bhopal gave a powerful, thoroughly researched account on the experiences of women of colour working in higher education, which included alarming statistics on the low numbers of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff working at higher levels across UK institutions.   This included the fact that only 8.4% of professors across the UK are BME, with a total of 85 who are black, and only 26 of which are women. She suggested a number of ways forward, including drawing on existing networks of support and creating new ones; ensuring an inclusive sisterhood, where differences were recognised but similarities were also identified; and highlighting that failure to acknowledge racism and white privilege result in a failure to act.

Yasmine Bouidaf talked about her research, looking into some of the micro-aggressions women experience in the workplace, including seemingly ‘small’ behaviours which they do not necessarily report, such as being talked over or ignored in meetings. She looked to address unconscious biases, beginning by collecting data from women through interviews and surveys, and analysing the results. She then used the findings to develop a virtual reality game as an intervention which allowed users to experience gender discrimination in the workplace in order to understand what problematic micro behaviours feel like.

The day also included Pecha Kucha talks on the theme – who am I supposed to be – and a panel discussion, where subjects covered included being your authentic self, situational judgement and being labelled by ourselves and others. In summary, the panel were asked to give a few words of advice for conference attendees to take away to improve the world we work in, which were as follows:

  • Call it out
  • Don’t second guess yourself
  • Adopt a tone which doesn’t isolate yourself
  • Unpick your stories and find your power
  • Use your difference as a super power
  • Insist on yourself, never imitate and do it with power

WHEN conference panel

Over lunchtime, I also made use of the career surgeries being offered by Perrett Laver, where we could access short-but-sweet, personal recruitment advice, and in the afternoon, I attended two workshops – Overcoming imposter syndrome with Dr Terri Simpkin, and Embracing your identity with Alice Chilver.  In the first workshop, I learned about the ways imposter phenomenon can affect me at times, and the session also highlighted how this could impact others I work with at UCL, particularly in my role as a line manager.

WHEN imposter phenomenon session with Dr Terri Simpkin

Embracing your identity was an extremely ambitious, illuminating workshop, which invited us to think about the high and low points of our careers, and map a timeline as a means to identify patterns which helped to reveal more about our personal priorities, interests and strengths.

The WHEN conference was an inspiring, motivating day, full of interesting discussions, advice and practical sessions, and gave me the opportunity to learn from others and network with colleagues across UCL and other HE institutions. You can find out more about WHEN here, and if you want to know about UCL Astrea events and news across UCL, you can sign up for the Astrea mailing list. We’d love to see you at an event soon!